Volume 74, Number 46 | March 23 - 29, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

No fear: Eva Moskowitz may not have a single political endorsement yet in her race for borough president, but she’s not sweating it. She’s got the high name recognition, thanks to news coverage of her battles with the janitors’ union and with Mayor Bloomberg over lack of toilet paper in public school bathrooms. Also not hurting Moskowitz’s confidence is the fact that she’s raised the most funds of any B.P. candidate. “I have 25 [fundraising] house parties a month between now and Sept. 13,” she said.

‘Witch hunt’: We hear some Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce members are branding The Villager’s recent reporting on Bob Rinaolo and his conflict of interest in formerly chairing the Community Board 2 Business Committee a “witch hunt.” They feel that the Chamber’s image is being besmirched by association with the conflict of interest, which lingered at Board 2 for 19 months, until Jim Smith, C.B. 2 chairperson, finally asked Rinaolo to relinquish the post last December. Rinaolo is former chairperson of the G.V.C. Chamber of Commerce…. We also hear that at this Thursday’s full board meeting, some C.B. 2 members plan to ask why the full board was never notified of Rinaolo’s conflict of interest, but had to learn of it from reading about it in The Villager.

Ill communication: Dan Willson, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields’s former communications director, recently became Fields’s senior advisor, with Nick Charles taking over as communications director. Willson told The Villager any questions should now be directed to Charles, whom he’d fill in on ongoing stories’ background. However, when The Villager called Charles last Friday, he said questions on stories that Willson formerly handled should still be fielded by Willson, because Charles was too busy — as he put it, “We’re mired in the mayoral race here.” Yet, this statement would seem to violate the provision under which a politician running for election must maintain a clear separation between his or her government and campaign offices. The Villager called Charles back on Monday to ask about his remark — which he then denied having made — and to ask him if he is currently, or was formerly, working on Fields’s mayoral campaign. “I have no comment for you — call Mr. Willson,” the purported spokesperson said. Willson did not reply by press time.

Correction: A Villager article last week on the filming of “RENT” in the East Village stated Community Board 3 had received $2,000 from the movie for providing “assistance” beforehand to the production. However, Susan Stetzer, C.B. 3’s district manager, said the board received the money because “RENT” wanted to help the community and the community board does that. Also, C.B. 3’s office is moving to the First Houses on Third St. off of Avenue A, into the former Department of Health rat-control office. Stetzer isn’t exactly ecstatic about this, as she resides right across the street, and fears she’ll start literally living at work.

Canned: After being evicted from his Pitt St. apartment by landlord Paul Stallings — developer of The Hotel on Rivington, a.k.a., THOR — Chris Brodeur landed in Noho where the hard-luck mayoral wannabe was promptly annoyed to discover his latest pet peeve — a garbage can at Thompson and Bleecker Sts. with a plaque saying it was funded by none other than Councilmember Alan Jay Gerson. Brodeur fumed this was “obscene,” that politicians shouldn’t pat themselves on the back for using tax dollars to buy a garbage can. However, Gerson said, he “responded to a pressing need” for the new high-end cans — with or without his name. “I did not request the Sanitation Department include my name,” he said. “Apparently, Sanitation does this for cans paid out of councilmembers’ discretionary funds. I think this is the first thing I have ever done where my name has appeared with discretionary funds,” he said. Gerson has, in fact, funded 21 of the brand-new bins at high-volume garbage locations throughout his Council District 1, stretching from the Battery to Washington Sq. Park. “Most people are thrilled to death by the trash cans,” added Dirk McCall, Gerson’s chief of staff. On second thought, Brodeur said, maybe he was overreacting. “Gerson is too small a fish,” he said. “I shouldn’t be hating him — I’ve got too many other people too hate.”

Thanks, but no thanks: As witnessed by his brief — but obviously irked — letter in this week’s issue, Michael Lopez wasn’t thrilled about the way Lower East Side politico Roberto Caballero characterized his candidacy for Council District 2 in last week’s Scoopy’s Notebook. Caballero had said Michael Lopez and another new candidate, Mildred Martinez, are “offering an alternative to the Hispanic community.” Retorted Lopez, “The Hispanic community is very sophisticated. I really think that was an insult to the community at large for him to put it that way…. And to be characterized as ‘a disabled person,’ ” Lopez continued. “I am a candidate who just so happens to be disabled.” Lopez, 40, has a master’s degree in economics from N.Y.U., is a Verizon team leader and is on the board of directors of Theater for the New City. He says he’s swamped at the moment, though, trying to wade the Campaign Finance Board’s booklet for candidates.

Field of nightmares? We’re hearing all kinds of disaster stories about the new Pier 40 courtyard sports field. The artificial turf will have to be completely torn up because the drainage is bad, because the little rubber pellets in the turf may be clogging the drainage holes, one soccer mom told us. The Hudson River below the pier is blocking water evaporation, a soccer dad said. And so on and so forth. However, Chris Martin, Hudson River Park Trust spokesperson, said these reports are untrue and that the field is undergoing “routine” drainage checks and will open soon and that the official ribbon-cutting will be held later in the spring.

F.A.F.-way there: Andrew Berman, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director, reports the Fine Arts Federation of New York has joined G.V.S.H.P. in calling for the city to designate the Far West Village a historic district. Founded in 1895, F.A.F. is an association of 20 New York City arts organizations, including the American Institute of Architects’s and the American Planning Association’s New York chapters, the Architectural League of New York, Van Alen Institute and Municipal Art Society.

Anti- matters: An advocate of the “quick-fix” approach to renovating Washington Sq. Park, last Thursday, Jonathan Greenberg, a former Gerson aide, testified at the City Council Parks Committee Capital Budget FY 2006 hearing against the Parks Department’s plan for the square. Before he spoke, former City Councilmember Carol Greitzer testified against plans for a year-round private restaurant concession in the Union Sq. pavilion.

Juice is loose: A new papaya juice and frankfurter place recently opened at W. Fourth St. and Sixth Ave. and not everyone is happy about it. Rocio Sanz of Tio Pepe restaurant complained people have been dropping the paper hot dog trays in front of her place, and she fears she’ll get cited by the Department of Sanitation. Why can’t the Central Village area attract more upscale businesses, she lamented?

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